“Crossing the Bridge” For Academic Support, College Readiness and Honors Programs, A New On-Line Guide by Graduate NYC! and Local Colleges Underwritten by the Petrie Foundation

A new online resource guide designed to connect New York’s college-bound and current college students with a wealth of academic support, college readiness and honors programs leading to graduation and career success was launched today by Graduate NYC!, a non-profit partnership, with funding from the Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation.

The comprehensive guide, Crossing the Bridge: A Map to Your College Success, features 295 programs administered by The City University of New York, New York University, The New School, Fordham University, and Purchase College, State University of New York, among 23 contributing colleges and universities, in an effort to promote graduation from high school and college, academic success, and to broaden access to the many higher education opportunities available in New York City.  In today’s economy, possession of a college degree is one of the strongest predictors of a person’s lifetime career success and earning potential.

The online guide is designed to promote broader college access and success in New York City.  Programs featured include high school‐based programs that promote college readiness and access to financial aid, and college‐based programs that provide mentoring, tutoring, professional development, internships, and other extra‐curricular supports designed to foster academic success and on‐time degree completion.

The guide—now publicly available on NYC College Line, a website run by Graduate NYC!—is easily searchable and provides detailed descriptions of each program, along with direct-contact names and information. Over time, the guide is expected to expand to include programs offered at all NYC‐area colleges and universities. The majority of the programs featured in Crossing the Bridge are offered to students at no additional cost; other programs offer substantial scholarship support—making the guide an indispensable resource for students, families, high school guidance counselors, and teachers.

“This is the only online directory of its kind that we are aware of in this country,” says Beth Lief, Executive Director of the Carroll & Milton Petrie Foundation, which together with New York University spearheaded the development and publication of Crossing the Bridge. “Aligned with President Obama’s recent challenge to raise U.S. college graduation rates and bring them in line with our global competitors, we hope this guide will measurably improve college success throughout New York City.”

Families and students understand that a college degree opens the doors of opportunity, leading to more fulfilling careers, better job prospects, and higher earning potential. But for many New York City students, earning a college degree is still a challenge. Although NYC public high school graduation and college‐enrollment rates have risen substantially in recent years, with 72% of graduating seniors attending college in 2012, college degree attainment rates remain persistently low. According to a recent report by the city comptroller’s office, just 21 percent of New York City public school students go on to complete a two‐ or four‐year college degree within twelve years of entering high school.

That’s why Graduate NYC!, the Petrie Foundation, and a group of NYC‐based colleges and universities have joined together in an unprecedented collaboration to develop a comprehensive online guide for New York students, including high school students, community‐college transfer students, and working adults returning to college. When students are connected to programs that provide financial aid, tutoring, mentoring, and other extra‐curricular supports tailored to their interests, backgrounds, and needs, they are far more likely to stay on track, experience academic success, and graduate on time. “Issues of college access and success are of critical importance to all New York students, but especially to low‐income students and first‐generation college students,” says Ms. Lief. “Together, we are working to make sure everyone has the tools they need to access higher education and successfully complete their degrees.”

To promote the guide, publishers of Crossing the Bridge are working closely with the NYC Department of Education (DOE) and community groups, including the Goddard Riverside Community Center’s Options Institute, to make sure professionals in college‐advising programs throughout the region are aware of the guide and the many programs across the region listen within. One of the major training initiatives at Goddard, working is close collaboration with the DOE, will provide training for 1,600 guidance counselors as college counselors by 2015. Crossing the Bridge on nyccollegeline.org will be promoted as an important resource for this and other groups working closely with students.

Graduate NYC! (GNYC) is a collaborative initiative, launched through a 2009 seed grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, involving the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE), the City University of New York (CUNY), and various community-based organizations. Its work is based on the premise that only a coordinated, targeted, citywide effort to improve high school and college outcomes for all New York City students will bring about a significant shift in local college readiness and completion rates. GNYC aspires to see a doubling of the college readiness rate among NYC public high school graduates and the rate of Associate and Baccalaureate degree completion at CUNY by 2020.

NYC College Line (NYCCL) is a major initiative of Graduate NYC!, launched in 2013 in partnership with the NYC DOE, the Options Center at Goddard Riverside Community Center, and CUNY. NYC College Line aims to provide a one-stop, web-based solution to the information gap surrounding college exploration, application, financing, and completion in New York. NYCCL is a “living library” for vetted, easily searchable resources, information, and programs to help students succeed in college. It also features an “Ask an Adviser” link, where professional advisors are available to answer questions within 48 hours, every day, all year.

The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of young New Yorkers, particularly disadvantaged ones, through improving public education. The Foundation provides all the CUNY senior colleges with Emergency Student Grant Funds to help students stay in school in case of short-term financial emergencies. More recently it has extended this support to CUNY’s community colleges and some private colleges as well, for the purpose of increasing college access, persistence, and success. The Foundation also supports grantees who are working on implementing common course standards in middle and high schools.


About The City University of New York

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847, the University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the CUNY Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY School of Public Health.   The University serves more than 270,000 degree-credit students and 218,083 adult, continuing and professional education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The University offers online baccalaureate degrees through the School of Professional Studies and an individualized baccalaureate through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree. Nearly 3 million unique visitors and 10 million page views are served each month via www.cuny.edu, the University’s website.